Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Ghost Bell of Terror Valley!

I've been promising to post a horror western tale for a few a months no (per request), so here's a good'un from Bobby Benson's B-BAR-B Riders Vol. 1 #14 from 1952. This pre-Marvel cowboy "Ghost Rider" by the king of severed heads himself Dick Ayers is certainly no Johnny Blaze, but his quest for justice is just as thrilling and hair-raisingly hellbent.

For a much more gruesome old west horror story from this issue click HERE! And if westerns aren't really your cup of tea, head over to AEET for some lovely pulp luridness courtesy of Man's Book Periodical!


Steve Pick said...

I always did love the look of this Ghost Rider. No time to read it yet, but I'm just marveling at the coolness of the pictures.

Gumba said...

A bit of confusion in this one -- was the guy pretending to be the ghost -- er, the evil one -- the same as the land owner?

From the page, they look alike, but from the text it's just some random stranger! I spent most of the comic trying to figure out who was pretending to be the bell ringing ghost!

It has the same problem in panes 2 & 3 on page 1, obviously different guys but the first time you read the panels you assume them to be the same (same clothes, same beard!)

The art's great but there's some real story telling problems in this one -- some of which can be laid at Ayers feet.

Rose LeMort said...

Loved the western one--I'm a big fan of the Old West as well as horror. And the gals from the army of Ilsa She Wolf of the S.S. were good for a chuckle.

Mr. Cavin said...

It's also pretty perplexing how much of the last page they dedicated to illustrating that rope curling around the guy's neck of its own eerie accord, only to then disavow any paranormal aspect of the hanging in both of the last two panels. I dig the idea that you can get a different take on the story if you only read it verses only looking at the pictures (sort of a dissonance between "hearing" and "seeing" the story), but I can't fathom the point of that tactic here.

Lazarus Lupin said...

Maybe the artist was given an outline and not the full script at first.

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

Frank Forte said...

I think that white Ghost Rider did end up a Marvel property at some point, I could've sworn I saw him in the 60's marvel western books. next to the Billy the Kid comics. I'm sure this one was into peyote and Satan too!

Mr. Karswell said...

You are correct Frank, from Wikipedia:

"After the trademark to the character's name and motif lapsed, Marvel Comics debuted its own near-identical, horror-free version of the character in Ghost Rider #1 (Feb. 1967), by writers Roy Thomas and Gary Friedrich and original Ghost Rider artist Ayers. After this series ended with issue #7 (Nov. 1967), the character went on to appear in new stories in the omnibus title Western Gunfighters (1970 series) and in new backup stories in the otherwise reprint title The Original Ghost Rider Rides Again.

With the introduction of Marvel's supernatural Ghost Rider in the 1970s, Marvel renamed its Western Ghost Rider — first, to the unfortunate Night Rider (a term previously used in the Southern United States to refer to members of the Ku Klux Klan) in a 1974-1975 reprint series, and then to Phantom Rider."

Find out more here:

Thanks for the comments, I'm lining up February with some cool stuff, including a week of BRAIN stories, but up first will be another full issue presentation per request. See ya in a few...